US accused of trying to regain Phl bases

US accused of trying to regain Phl bases

Home Updated June 13, 2012 04:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The United States is making use of private contractors to re-establish and re-activate its military bases in the country, militant group Bayan said on Wednesday.

Bayan said private contractors are being used to circumvent the Philippine constitutional ban on US bases by making it appear that military operations are mere commercial transactions.

The group had campaigned for the rejection of the US bases in 1991.

In a statement, Bayan said a private defense contractor has posted the first US Navy-related job opening in 20 years in Subic, Zambales, Philippines.

From the job description, it appears that US warships will be frequenting the former US naval base.

According to Bayan, the position of project manager is open only to US citizens and requires a Secret-level security clearance and about 15 years experience in the US Navy.

Bayan said the AMSEC, a subsidiary of private military contractor Huntington Ingalls Industries which is the biggest builder of nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the US Navy and Coast Guard, posted the job opening.

AMSEC is in partnership with Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines to provide maintenance, repair and logistics services to the US Navy and other customers in the western Pacific region.

“For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder,” the group said, quoting HII’s website.

“From this ad, it appears that the US is serious in using Subic for its warships. In a subtle way, the US is transforming a civilian facility back into a military hub through the use of private defense contractors,” Bayan said.

The use of these contractors to provide logistics and other support services for US warships may also be intended to circumvent the Constitutional ban on US bases absent a treaty ratified by the Senate.

The Philippine Senate voted to kick out the US military bases way back in 1991.

“Instead of the US Navy itself that operates maintenance and logistics support services, they get a private contractor to do it so it won’t be so obvious that the US bases are back,” Bayan said.

“It won’t be long before full-blown logistics and servicing operations for US navy warships are conducted in Subic,” the group added. – Dennis Carcamo


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